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Old 03-18-08, 02:46 PM   #1
msu2001la
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What should I wear?

I'll be doing my first tri this summer (Chicago Accenture). I'm told that the water temp will be somewhere around 70 degrees, and that I don't need a wetsuit.

What should I wear?

As a cyclist, my initial thought was to wear either some thin bike shorts, or tri shorts for the entire race. I figured I'd do the swim topless, then pull on a bike jersey or a tighter fitting workout shirt for the bike/run.

I'm wondering if there is any advantage to buying a tri-specific top? I'm assuming I can swim/bike/run in one of these? I've never swam with a shirt on of any kind, is it going to slow me down? Is it really that hard to pull a jersey or shirt on after getting out of the water? If I do swim in a tri-shirt, how do I attach my number (I'm assuming it's a pin-on deal).

Since this is my first race, I'm mainly interested in simplicity and comfort. Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 03-19-08, 03:26 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I'll be doing my first tri this summer (Chicago Accenture). I'm told that the water temp will be somewhere around 70 degrees, and that I don't need a wetsuit.
What should I wear?
Since this is my first race, I'm mainly interested in simplicity and comfort. Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks.
hasn't anyone told you it's traditional to do the first one buck naked? Makes you go faster

/k
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Old 03-19-08, 07:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I'll be doing my first tri this summer (Chicago Accenture). I'm told that the water temp will be somewhere around 70 degrees, and that I don't need a wetsuit.

What should I wear?

As a cyclist, my initial thought was to wear either some thin bike shorts, or tri shorts for the entire race. I figured I'd do the swim topless, then pull on a bike jersey or a tighter fitting workout shirt for the bike/run.

I'm wondering if there is any advantage to buying a tri-specific top? I'm assuming I can swim/bike/run in one of these? I've never swam with a shirt on of any kind, is it going to slow me down? Is it really that hard to pull a jersey or shirt on after getting out of the water? If I do swim in a tri-shirt, how do I attach my number (I'm assuming it's a pin-on deal).

Since this is my first race, I'm mainly interested in simplicity and comfort. Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks.
A wetsuit will help you if you're not a strong swimmer.

I did my first tri last year at the Annapolis Tri and I wore the tri shorts and top under the full wetsuit. At T1, I just took off the wetsuit and goggles. Because of the thin and tight materials, the shorts and top dried very quickly and also helped aerodynamically. I didn't have to wear a number on me until the run because I had a number on the bike and another on my helmet. At T2, I just put on a racing belt (w/ a number already attached) around my waist and ran.

I've to run with socks so I struggled a bit putting them on at T1 when my feet were wet.

Last edited by itri-45; 03-19-08 at 10:15 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-19-08, 08:42 AM   #4
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My first tri was the Anthem Holiday tri north of Phoenix in Dec 2007. The temps were in the low 50's. It was a pool swim, and the pools was heated. I wore Pearl Izumi tri shorts (they did not have an insert) for the swim, then put on a short sleeve cycling jersey for the bike and the run.
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Old 03-19-08, 12:06 PM   #5
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For anything less than a HIM, I am fine with just a pair of jammers. I don't need a cushion for a ride of 26 miles or less. And I'm actually toying with the idea of wearing them for a HIM, going out and trying it will tell me if its worth it to buy some tri-shorts.

RE: The wetsuit, I think the saying is, unless you are a "really" strong swimmer, the wetsuit is going to help you. 70 degrees, yes I would be in one.
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Old 03-20-08, 02:33 PM   #6
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I've to run with socks so I struggled a bit putting them on at T1 when my feet were wet.
If you're wearing clipless shoes, I recommend no socks for the bike portion. Wait until T2 when you have to switch shoes anyway, and put your socks on dry feet.

I wonder if I swam topless if I'd have an advantage ... all the other women in my wave would be so shocked they'd stand there gawking at me instead of swimming!!!

-- Joolie
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Old 03-20-08, 03:06 PM   #7
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I wonder if I swam topless if I'd have an advantage ... all the other women in my wave would be so shocked they'd stand there gawking at me instead of swimming!!! ;
I can assure you it wouldn't be the other women gawking...

/k
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Old 03-20-08, 07:29 PM   #8
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If you're wearing clipless shoes, I recommend no socks for the bike portion. Wait until T2 when you have to switch shoes anyway, and put your socks on dry feet.

-- Joolie
I know my feet won't be completely dry but I'll try it next time. I just thought that it would be easier to put socks on wet feet (T1) versus sweaty and sticky feet (T2).
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Old 03-20-08, 08:40 PM   #9
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Even though they said you don't need a wetsuit, you should consider buying/renting one anyway. 70 degrees is a bit nippy, and a well-fitting wetsuit will make you significantly faster in the water.

Here's what I wear:

Swim: tri bottom, tri top (if wearing wetsuit), wetsuit (if legal), cap/goggles
Bike: tri bottom, tri top, tri shoes without socks, sunglasses, full-fingered gloves if it's below say 60 degrees
Run: tri bottom, tri top, socks for OLY or greater, shoes with elastic shoelaces, hat, sunglasses, race belt
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Old 03-22-08, 10:23 PM   #10
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I know my feet won't be completely dry but I'll try it next time. I just thought that it would be easier to put socks on wet feet (T1) versus sweaty and sticky feet (T2).
Make sure to try a few rides with no socks before the race, my feet blistered badly and quickly when I rode with no sokcs. I would recommend bringing along a pair of socks just in case on the training ride if it is long.

A trick to putting socks on wet feet is to roll them up, then just put your toes into them and unroll on your feet. It can still be a pain but much quicker than trying to put them on normally. It is worth the extra minute for me, though when I race I am not even close to really being competitive to win or place.

For the jersey, if you go no wetsuit, I have read of people rolling the jersey down into there tri shorts, then once finished with the swim just pull it up to fit. I am going to try this for my next race. Putting on a jersey while wet is hard also.

T
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Old 03-23-08, 11:26 AM   #11
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I would second practicing riding lots without socks before you try it in a race. For your first race, comfort is more important then speed. If your hurting your not going to be fast anyway. Would also second using a wetsuit if you can get one, especially if your not a really strong swimmer.Wetsuit will make you faster, much more buoyant, and makes your transitions easier in that you can wear your bike stuff underneath. Cheers, and good luck with your first.And remember, it's not the people at the front who are having fun
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Old 03-24-08, 03:20 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice everyone.
I will look into renting a wetsuit. Should I be concerned that none of my training will be done in a wetsuit?
(with the exception of a possible short swim the day before the race or something?)

Sounds like otherwise, I can just roll with some thin bike shorts or tri-shorts and a bike jersey or tri-shirt.

Thanks.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:29 AM   #13
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Having some practice swims in the wetsuit is a big help. They are very snug-fitting and the tightness around the chest can take a little getting used to.

My .02 would be a one-piece tri suit, so there's nothing to pull on in T1, but people vary.
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